tv BBC World News America PBS October 3, 2012 4:00pm-4:30pm PDT
what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news america." >> this is "bbc world news america" reporting from washington. just hours ago, the stage is set in denver for the first television debate between barack obama and mitt romney. >> it is not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties. this is a choice between two different halves for this country. >> this is an affinity for us to describe the path way forward for america. the american people will have to make their choice as to what kind of america they want. >> how will both candidates win over the millions watching? we take a lesson from history books. our other top stories, turkey
strikes back after a sheriff in -- after a syrian mashel kills five people on the turkish side of the border. welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and around the globe. one stage, at two men coming tens of millions of viewers. barack obama and mitt romney are getting set to square off for a televised debate. -- one stage, two men, tens of millions of viewers. for the first time, we might finally hear details on just how they plan to do it. our north american added there is in denver for us tonight. >> when the candidate stake to the stage tonight, they will want to convince the people that they speak their language.
sometimes it is more of a stretch. >> [speaking spanish] >> obviously, they will not be speaking spanish tonight. the largest growing ethnic group could be critical in this election. there is going to be even more importance in the future. quarter of all americans under 18 are latino. canvassing in colorado, a swing state where the latino vote is hugely important. now, some are disappointed that he has not done more to help the illegal immigrants that come across the border. a few find this election a hard choice. >> we know that there is only one candidate that supports any kind of immigration reform that is of any real value and of course that is obama. romney would turn back any progress we have made. >> a lot of republicans see the
hispanic vote as a huge prize. what has gone wrong? when ronald reagan said that latinos were naturally republican, he met that they were aspirational and socially conservative. mitt romney seems to turn them off. he backed a law in arizona which some said was racial profiling. he called for a high-tech fence along the mexican border and struck a hard note talking about illegal immigrants. >> the answer is self deportation, people decide that they can do better work here because they don't have legal documentation. >> the campaign has put on a burst of speed, intensely targeting latinos, especially in swing states like colorado. the latest poll gives obama 70% of the hispanic vote. romney has backpedaled and the written policy with a much softer focus on illegal
immigration. some say this is a chance to touch home the new message. >> throw away the rhetoric, the language that turns people off, and talk about it in a real leadership way. >> as night falls, the intense preparations are at an end. they will soon face each other for a debate but some say will shake up the race for the white house. >> so, how significant is tonight's debate? i am joined by the national editor of "a vanity fair" magazine. thank you very much. obviously, these debates have been analyzed for their significance. given the context of this election, how significant is tonight? >> it could be significant. the balance of the evidence suggests that the challenger has to gain in the first debate. he has the most -- obviously, mitt romney has the most to gain. he also has the most to lose.
if he cannot show himself as a possible candidate, he will not turn around the trajectory. president obama has high stakes. he is on the defensive. he has to show people what he has in store, but just by being on the same stage with him, mitt romney gains in stature. >> at this stage, is anything more that we will learn more? this is so choreographed. we all know what they're going to say. we're going to see barack obama make mistakes in the debate. he said to mitt romney -- the line he said to hillary clinton, you are likable enough. neither one is apt to make a huge gaffe. >> who is undecided? this is all about. >> tiny amounts of people. tiny amounts of precincts in states.
in some ways, it might not be mitt romney's last chance that it is his last best chance to break through and show people that he cares about them, he cares about their problems but that has been an issue for him. he has advantages on some of the other issues. so much of these debates is about the body language, the social clues. do they look pleasant? did they look like someone you want to have in your living room for the next four years? that will be important. >> in terms of the immediate impact of this debate, will we know after the media has pored over all the tricks and turns? >> we will know what the consensus of the media is. there are these polls, they will have some polls as early as tomorrow. we over analyze everything. i suspect in the next 48 hours, something will jell about what the outcome was. >> what about specific voter
groups? president obama is ahead in the polls when it comes to women. can mitt romney appeal directly to women voters from this platform or is he really -- >> he will have to try. he will have to try to make himself acceptable. the problem that he has had for so much of this year is connecting with people as real people. people see him as too rich, two out of touch to understand the concerns of ordinary people. when he said he would bet gov. kerrey of texas $10,000. he might have said five or $10. -- when he said he would bet governor perry of texas, $10,000. >> we will be glued tonight. later in the program, we will be looking at the dos and don'ts in a television debate. we will be speaking to a
performance coach for politicians. stay tuned. now, to dramatic developments in the middle east. turkey has fired retaliatory rounds into syria after five of its citizens were killed by a syrian mortar shell. this is the most serious incident in recent months. there has been bloodshed further south. a series of bombs ripped through the heart of aleppo, killing more than 30 people. >> syrian shells fall on civilians. this is turkey, a town near the border. five people are reported killed, reportedly including a woman and her children. tonight, turkey announced it had already fired back. the turkish government is deeply hostile to president assad and says that syria must be held to account. they are urging nato allies to help. >> the a very very dangerous
situation. all responsible nations need to band together to persuade the assad regime to have a cease- fire. >> this is exactly what many people feared, the conflict spreading and flaming an already divided region. turkey backed the rebels, lightly armed, but without clear that ship. they have taken ground from a substantial army backed by iran in particular. president assad no longer controls his country, but equally he has not lost it. the longer the syrian deadlock, the greater the risk to its neighbors and the region will get sucked into confrontation. >> you will see this proxy conflict boiling over. you need some kind of international momentum to form a consensus that action can shift the ground away from conflict.
>> note and to the conflict is in sight. syrian state television is that this does result of unbearable bombings and a lot of today. -- no end to the conflict is in sight. syrian state television said that this is the result of rebel bombings today. most of those killed were soldiers at an officer's club in a government-controlled districts. neither side can defeat the other end of the syrian neighbors are increasingly at risk. -- and syria's neighbors are increasingly at risk. >> the iranian currency has lost 40% of its value in the past week. many say that the government is partly to blame for the crisis which has hurt living standards and trade. we report from the turkish- iranian border. >> shopkeepers in the center of tehran shutdown their stalls and
protests against the collapse of the iranian rial. the government would like to stop street traders in giving in foreign currency. many iranians are desperate to convert their disappearing savings into dollars. they're taking their anger out on the government. now, these people are unafraid to protest. in recent years, the stories have succeeded in breaking down protests organized by the opposition. angry merchants and shopkeepers can't be much harder to stop. here on the border, we can find clear signs of the effect of the islamic republic's currency crisis. -- angry merchants and shopkeepers can be much harder to stop. iranian firms cannot afford to order in goods from turkish companies. the traffic across the border has almost stopped. the currency collapse is iran's
worst financial crisis since the time of the iran-iraq war. this is now affecting how ordinary iranians are able to live their lives. that makes it a serious worry to the religious government of the islamic republic. >> in other news, vatican policemen testified at the trial of pope benedict's former but there have described how they found hundreds of documents hidden inside his home. he is charged with stealing and leaking confidential documents, some of which should have been destroyed. mr. gabrielle has denied theft. the french government has presented plans for a new anti- terrorism law that will allow authorities to prosecute anyone attending militant islamist running camps abroad. it is hoped that this will prevent a repeat of the deadly attacks which took place in march when a french radical islamist killed seven people.
the director of the russian security service has blamed al qaeda for starting wildfires this summer which spread through southern europe and the balkans. he said the aim was to cause significant damage with minimum effort. in a farm into groups say there is no evidence that the blazes were caused by terrorists. the u.n. -- the united states classifies hamas as a terrorist organization. now, the group which controls gaza has been accused of torture, police brutality, and arbitrary arrest. the criminal justice system reeks of injustice according to human-rights watch. there has been isolated cases of abuse. they deny that it is systematic. our correspondent reports >> security forces in action. soon after they came to power in
late 2007. human-rights watched says that police brutality remains a problem not only in the streets but inside the prisons. >> in this report we found that the authorities are arbitrarily detain people, to nine people access to the lawyers, and torturing people. in the worst cases are executing people based on a concession that was given under torture. we spoke to one young vocal opponent has been arbitrarily arrested dozens of times over the last five years. >> this continued for several days. they burned my foot with a cigarette lighter. another help to me down and they burned me again. >> in the prisons, this is not uncommon according to the report. unusually, hamas allowed human
rights watch to announce its findings in gaza reflecting a greater openness to criticism and in the past. after the arab spring, hamas is not want to be painted with the same brush. there will be anger at police brutality which fuelled popular uprising. when i met with the deputy foreign minister, he denied widespread abuse. >> this is from time to time. >> do you except that happens, but a few bad apples have been doing that? >> this has happened here or there. i cannot confirm that. >> hamas complaints about prisoner abuse in israeli jails, torture by rival palestinian security forces on the west bank.
the report by human rights watch acknowledges that happens. it also says that it is no excuse. >> a chinese owned company has filed a lawsuit against president obama for blocking its purchase of wind farms here in the u.s.. the president said there was security concerns. they are close to a naval facility, and an area of restricted airspace. it is rare for foreign investment to be blocked in the u.s. this is the first time in 22 years. is this more about american politics than in national security policy? >> of the white house said that it took this decision because the company at the heart of the dispute could have taken actions which would have impaired u.s. national security. these when farms lie close to a military base in oregon. that is used as a training site
for unmanned drones, which of course is highly secretive and sensitive equipment. the chinese company says that it will fight the decision by mr. obama to block the sale. they said that he acted unlawfully. here in china, the decision is being seen as a political one and not based on national security. the state-run news agency put out an editorial saying that this was an example of china- bashing. you might remember that mitt romney has criticized barack obama for not taking a tough enough line on china. the contention of the chinese media is that mr. obama has made this decision in order to win voters. >> you are watching "bbc world news america," still to come -- the dos and don'ts of a television debate. we get some tips from mitt romney and barack obama from an expert.
a british team is hoping to break the land speed record with its new supersonic car. >> on a windswept hilltop within the shelter of an aircraft hangar, the seconds ticked away to a milestone moment. across the airfield, final testing for the formula one engine which would force fuel into the largest hybrid rocket. three years of dairy when at last be put to the test. -- three years of theory would at last be put to the test. >> making that work would be a huge amount of pressure from five years ago. we started with a blank sheet of paper all the way 1,000 miles an hour -- all the way to 1,000
miles an hour. >> this is a typhoon rocket. they will sit one on top of the other. the object is to get the vehicle down this stretch in just over 3.5 seconds. they set out to share every development. this will be a moment of truth and watched around the world. another step on the journey towards the record attempt, it was not enough to satisfy a man familiar with the supersonics beat. >> i am very very pleased. what happens with a project like this you have a lot of hurdles to jump over. we might have had a setback. >> the system is fine. >> the aim is for the bloodhound to go supersonic next year and to break the barrier in 2014. the countdown is well under way.
>> as we reported earlier, barack obama and mitt romney are getting ready for their first face-to-face spar on television. the two presidential nominees have spent hours learning lines and performing mock debates in order to beat their opponent and win over a television audience of tens of millions. critics will be watching as we move and listening to every move. what can they learn from their predecessors? the first television debate was in black and white in 1960. it was argued that john f. kennedy had shown richard nixon mainly because of the way he looked on screen. do these debates boil down to style over substance? we're joined by brian callahan who coaches government and industry leaders in public
speaking. how much do looks matter in this? if nixon had sweated less in that clip that we just saw, would he have done better? >> i think he would have. particularly since it was the dawn of television and people were getting visual cues for the first time. when senator kennedy looked much more comfortable than nixon, that played very much to his advantage. >> well, let's take a look at the presidential debate now in 1984. ronald reagan was asked if he was too old to be president. >> i want you to know that i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i'm not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. [laughter] >> that is also one of my
favorite lines. >> that is my favorite as well. >> it is pretty good. it tells us nothing about policy but it made us laugh. >> it tells us that he had a sense of humor. this was not a spontaneous response. it was carefully prepared and his camp knew that the montel camp would make an issue. it was a prepared sound bite but it was beautifully delivered and it worked tremendously well. >> a memorable vice presidential debate in 1988, republican dan quayle. he invoked the memory of john f. kennedy and this was senator bentsen's response. >> senators, i served with jack kennedy, i knew jack kennedy, jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you are no jack kennedy. [applause]
>> that still stings, doesn't it? is it possible to prepare for something like that? >> he probably should have. i remember that. a colleague of mine was in the room when that line was written for senator bentsen. the appearances -- become parents is to kennedy were frequent. senator quayle bought those would work to his advantage. -- the comparisons to kennedy were quite frequent. senator quayle sought those would work to his advantage. >> it was gotten wrong in a debate with george w. bush in 2000. you can see gore advancing threatening toward the bush who would later win the presidency after a battle over vote counting. i cannot imagine anything like
that happening tonight. in fact, the opposite. these are very cool customers. how should they loosened up without making that mistake? >> al gore had the unfortunate personality -- he resembled a tin woodman when he was in front of the camera. i cannot believe that his approaching president bush was as big a deal as some would think that it was. but, he did it at the wrong time. >> right. very very briefly. these are two of the most televised men in the world. will we learn anything new about them? >> tonight's candidates, i think that we will. the way that they behave, the way they present themselves will make a significant difference. >> i will have to stop you there. thank you very much indeed for joining me. that brings us to the end of the
show. thank you very much for watching. we will see you back here tomorrow. >> make sense of international news at bbc.com/news. >> funding for this presentation was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu, newman's own foundation, and union bank. >> at union bank, our relationship managers work hard to understand the industry you operate in, working to nurture new ventures and help provide capital for key strategic decisions.
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